For me, the use of static site generators has always been about ease of use and robustness. However, with Pelican I eventually found myself in a situation with too many customizations (theme, functionality only achievable through extra plugins). This obviously proved quite limiting.
Last year I had the opportunity to work with Nikola on the website for Linux Audio Conference 2018, which was a very pleasant experience. There I was able to integrate scripts (in a disgusting way, I have to admit) to scrape calendar events and turn their information into pages and automatically deploy it and additional data required for our streaming service with the VOC.
This week I finally pulled the plug on the old theme and way of building and deploying my website. This felt quite good, as I deleted quite a few things. The advantages of Nikola over Pelican became apparent very early:
- Less fragmentation: The CLI is much cleaner, there is only one configuration file
- Easier integration: Multi-level pages, navigation menu, image galleries and robots.txt generation without hackery and additional plugins
- more strict use of ReStructuredText
In the end I was quite happy to not deal with so many custom solutions anymore and even exchanged my custom theme with one of the current default ones. That being said: Theming seems also more straight forward to customize... I just didn't feel like doing that.
Closing, I would like to add, that I hope this will lead to a more frequent release flow on my website again. As you can imagine a lot has changed since 2016. More on that in the upcoming posts. Promise!